Last week I walked into a health food store, and unsurprisingly, the newest magical remedy apparently found on unicorn poop in the amazon showed up – chia seeds !
I was really curious what the truth was behind them, since the store was promoting these chia seeds pretty hard.
Are they actually magical remedies for weight loss and better health, or are they yet another gimmick?
Chia Seeds & Other Magical Weight Loss Remedies
So… How Well Do Chia Seeds Really Work By Themselves?
In this particular study, subjects were randomized to a chia seed or placebo group.
The researchers had them ingest 25g of Chia seed or a placebo mixed in a quarter liter of water for 3 months.
And then after the 3 month period, several factors were assessed to see if there were any changes:
- Body mass index and composition
- Inflammation markers
- Stress markers
- Blood pressure
… And after the 12 week period, researchers followed up and discovered the following: these markers didn’t change at all, except for blood levels of that ALA (that chia seeds are high in).
Yes, nothing whatsoever changed.
The ingestion of 2x daily Chia seed did nothing to the body mass or disease risk factors of the people in this study.
The Chia Seed and McDonald’s Diet
Okay, so what’s the deal here?
First of all – does one study prove anything about chia seeds?
But here’s why it probably didn’t show very many positive results.
First, adding Chia seeds to a diet is a VERY small win.
Let’s just say we took a hundred people eating a horrible McDonald’s diet with low quality food that’s high in calories. And then we added Chia seeds to see how well they’d improve.
What do you think would happen here?
If a person eats a ton of low quality food, eating Chia seeds is such a small, inconsequential win that this person is better off removing just one day of McDonald’s.
A dramatic example, but you get the point. I get tons of emails asking things about “which sugar” to eat for example, and it drives me mad.
The answer = WHO CARES!
Focus on the biggest, most important wins. Rather than splitting hairs over which alternative sugar to consume, just eat less sugar, and eat more real sugar.
Voila! Much more simple, and a lot less stressful to think about on a daily basis.
The Silver Bullet Principle
The second thing to think about here is because “chia seeds for weight loss” violates the silver bullet principle.
The silver bullet principle is simple: if it sounds like a fast, quick win, where you just “add one simple thing” – it’s probably B.S.
There are so many pills, products and plans that I see my students and clients falling prey to that it makes me nauseous.
Chances are, unless the “one thing” you’re changing is habits, it’s not gonna happen and give you the results you want.
It’s usually yet another gimmick you can get for a $50 bottle at GNC.
These things are called SUPPLEMENTS because they are designed to, well, be supplements to our diet, our lifestyle, our movement plan, etc.
Remember the golden trifecta?
That’s a big win:
Picking one tiny thing here from each of those spheres are BIG wins – not adding chia seeds.
Your Tiny Habit For Today
1. It’s a small win. Supplements are called SUPPLEMENTS FOR A REASON.
2. It violates the “silver bullet” principle.
3. It’s stupid. It’s just a terrible idea, and yet another shortcut.
Focus on big wins.
What other supplements have you added to your diet thinking they *could* be the game changer for you? Share it below.
The study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19628108